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Clin Dermatol. 2010 Mar 4;28(2):202-11. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2009.12.003.

Otomycosis: Diagnosis and treatment.

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Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Academic Teaching Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Friedrichstrasse 41, 01067 Dresden, Germany.


Aspergillus and Candida spp are the most frequently isolated fungi in patients with otomycosis. The diagnosis of otitis externa relies on the patient's history, otoscopic examination under microscopic control, and imaging studies. Direct preparation of the specimens, particularly with optical brighteners, mycologic culture, and histologic examination, is very important and strongly recommended for the correct diagnosis. Patients with noninvasive fungal otitis externa should be treated with intense d├ębridement and cleansing, and topical antifungals. Topical antifungals, such as clotrimazole, miconazole, bifonazole, ciclopiroxolamine, and tolnaftate, are potentially safe choices for the treatment of otomycosis, especially in patients with a perforated eardrum. The oral triazole drugs, itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole are effective against Candida and Aspergillus, with good penetration of bone and the central nervous system. These drugs are essential in the treatment of patients with malignant fungal otitis externa complicated by mastoiditis and meningitis.

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